Watching the Rower by Andrea Potos

Oh to find that still surface,
the glide of silk and silence,
sun lit along the oars,
the mind in the arms, threading
the seams of each moment.

Watching the Rower

How rare and precious to find a poem with so few words, five short lines, that paints such a rich canvas. This, by Andrea Potos, does just that. From the title, I can already envision a rower – perhaps an individual in an old wooden dingy, a Victorian couple in a Thames skiff, or a group of rowers in a dragonboat. Could be, you even feel yourself with those oars in your hands.

I’m imagining a lake, early morning or evening when the water is calm and smooth, that still surface, parted by the prow of the boat. The way it moves, the glide of silk and silence, such delicious alliteration, the repetition, all those ‘s’ sounds. There is sunlight on the oars, concentration in the arms with each pull, threading / the seams of each moment. Each stroke weaving my attention into the present moment, a moving meditation.

May you find that still surface somewhere this summer with great pleasure, whether you are on the water or observing from land.

11 thoughts on “Watching the Rower by Andrea Potos

  1. I thought of dragonboating when my head turned “seams” into “screams”. Finding that common pulse with the others in the boat and focusing on a strong, forward motion. Hearing the drummer shouting commands from the front to keep us all in rhythm.
    Thank you, dear Jan. xoxo


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